The Unfortunate Truth of E-Commerce Failures

e-commerce failures

Technology has been changing business for a long time now, but recent developments are particularly groundbreaking. A new survey from MarketingSignals reported that the unfortunate truth about e-commerce businesses is, 90% fail within the first 4 months of starting up. In contrast, the survival rate of the first YEAR for brick and mortar stores is 78% according to the Small Business Administration. In other words, almost 8 times more brick and mortar stores live to see their first birthday than e-commerce sites do. Let’s identify why there are so many E-Commerce failures.

Your business is doing well. But what’s next? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

Why Is There SUCH a Stark Difference?

One word. Marketing. According to MarketingSignals, “Poor online marketing performance coupled with an overall lack of search engine visibility [was the reason for market failure].” In simple English, if people don’t know you exist, how can they buy from you?

E-Commerce businesses are vast but fail at a rate larger than normal commerce businesses

It’s probably fair to assume that most people don’t think all you need to do is put an e-commerce plug-in on your website, and you’re golden, but few probably realize the amount of effort and resources (time and/or money) required in order to be successful. The survey points this out.

What Causes E-Commerce Failures?

Nearly 4 out of 10 new businesses failed because of poor online marketing. When you look across the top 10 reasons for e-commerce failure, the top 6 are all marketing related.

The top ten reasons why e-commerce startups end in failure:

1. Poor online marketing – 37%

2. Lack of online search visibility – 35%

3. Little to no market for their products or services – 35%

4. Running out of cash – 32%

5. Price and cost issues – 29%

6. Got outcompeted – 23%

7. Retail giants dominating a large share of the market – 19%

8. Lack of customer service – 16%

9. A poor team – 14%

10. Product mistiming – 11%

How to Avoid E-Commerce Failure

We have outlined before the ways that you can develop a successful marketing plan that won’t break the bank.

“Many tools can be used to increase their [businesses] brand awareness and search visibility in their first few days and weeks, where consumer trust and loyalty hasn’t yet been established.”

Marketing Signals

Unfortunately, they weren’t as forthcoming as to say where. We’re not surprised. In fact, our experience has been that there are no quick fixes. You need to be careful. It’s very easy to get ripped off if you don’t know what you are buying. In our post, “Google Small Business Portal – Marketing Gimmick or Value-Add”, we show how even large companies are willing to take your money.

E-Commerce relies on maintaining a customer base that keeps coming back to your website, which is helped by having a good marketing program

In the end, we found you really do have to put in the hard work. You need to educate yourself on the fundamentals of digital marketing. You can find some great courses offered through SCORE or the SBA. We highly recommend you take a least one of them before you start your business. You might want to consider a mentor or hiring an agency or a consultant to help.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your e-commerce business. However, you can put in the work, find the right support, and avoid the scammers to be one of the E-Commerce success stories instead of an E-Commerce failure.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

Nurse Entrepreneurs – Next Big Trend in Healthcare?

Nurse Entrepreneurs

Nurses have a unique skill set.  Because of this skill set, nurse entrepreneurs are in a unique position.  Since these skills are easily reapplied in the health and wellness industry, there are a number of new business opportunities available to them.

Starting a new business can be tough, but doable.  Nurse entrepreneurs, however, have a clear advantage vs. others in the health & wellness market.  Their knowledge of medicine, disease management, clinical training, and caregiving open up a number of possibilities. 

Thinking about making changes to your business? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

Nurse Entrepreneurs: Ideas Based on Growing Trends in the Health & Wellness Market

There are several exciting trends in the healthcare market.  Nurse entrepreneurs are ideal for these ideas because they have the right skill set for the business.

First, Home Healthcare ain’t what it used to be

Concierge care is a fast-growth niche within the health and wellness space.  Since hospitals continue to push patients more and more into outpatient care, the need for assistance is greater than ever.  Patients are being discharged sooner.  As a result, they are left to manage post-operative pain, wound management, etc. on their own.  Few people know enough to manage this successfully.  Thus, having a nurse at home, or virtually, can be of great assistance and provide significant peace of mind.

Second, since Doctors don’t have time to consult people, nurse entrepreneurs can fill the void.

Again, nurse entrepreneurs are ideal candidates for this role.  Patients have questions.  Left to their own devices, they’re likely to look online for answers.  God knows what they’ll find.  This is especially true in chronic, complicated conditions like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.  Nurse Healthcare consultants can fill that void.  Therefore, it’s a great idea for a new business.

Third, nurse entrepreneurs know Americans don’t take good care of themselves

Wellness coaching is booming.  Considering all the pre-diabetic cases that exist today, the demand for wellness coaching or disease prevention is high.  Nurses would make excellent wellness coaches because of their clinical training, patient experience, and disease management skills.

Forth, Holistic Care

Holistic medicine continues to gain acceptance as part of the standard medical practice.  Nurses with an interest in holistic care can do well in this industry.  For instance, partnering with a holistic care provider is one idea.  Another idea is creating a holistic care team. 

Fifth, as baby-boomers age, hospice care is expected to skyrocket.

Hospice care isn’t for everyone.  It’s a highly emotional time for both the patient and his or her family. Nurse entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to manage these patients and their families will be in high demand.

Finally, Nurse Entrepreneurs are Ideal for Health Education

One just needs to glance at the web to see the confusing morass of information that confronts patients.  Who better to translate this information to patients than nurses?  Who can sort through the bull and highlight the good?

For nurse entrepreneurs who are thinking about making the leap, we have a few posts that you might find helpful: “3 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Business”, “The Shocking Truth about Small Business”, “4 Simple Steps to Write a Successful Business Plan”, “3 Hacks to Get a Business Loan”.  There are also plenty of free sources of information available to use as well.

Now, has never been a better time to be a nurse entrepreneur.  We hope these ideas will jump-start some for you as well. For more thoughts, we recommend reading this Forbes article.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

To People That Want to Start Their Own Business, But Are Afraid to Do it

Afraid to Start a New Business

According to FreshBooks, 24 million people want to work for themselves, but only 2 million do.  Why the difference?  Many people want to start their own business but are afraid to do it because of 4 key fears.

Thinking about making changes to your business? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

First, Lack of Knowledge or Self-Confidence

One of the leading reasons in a recent study showed nearly 3 in 10 were afraid to start their own business because they lacked the business knowledge or a business plan.  There are plenty of ways to gain knowledge and confidence.  In our post, “How to Learn More About Business for Free”, we outline several of them.

Second, Lack of Money

Many are afraid to start their own businesses because of money concern.  In that same study, a little more than 3 in 10 were worried about a consistent income.  About the same number were concerned about not having the money to invest or making less.  In our posts, “Small Business Lending is Booming”, “How to Get Capital Without Getting Clobbered”, and others, we cover this in great detail.  If you have a great idea, you can find funds.  For those worried about making less, over ½ of those asked said they were making more.

Third, Health Benefits

While not rated as high as the other fears, many people are afraid to start their own businesses because they would lose their health insurance.  While this is a real fear, recent changes in health spending accounts have made it easier to use the State Health Exchanges.  It is a risk, but there is a benefit.  Being your own boss may be stressful, but doing what you love is very rewarding.  Consequently, happier people are healthier people.  In fact, 63% of people said they had a better quality of life.

Lastly, Not Knowing Where to Begin

In that same study, roughly 1 in 10 didn’t know what they wanted to do.  For those, I would say being afraid to start their own business is a good thing.  Not having a plan is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.  It makes all the other fears more likely to come true. The truth is, 96% of people who left traditional jobs to start their own businesses reported no desire to return to traditional work. 

In summary, if you want to start your own business, don’t be afraid to do it. Do your homework.  Make a plan.  Get some advice.  You’ll lower your risk and increase your chances of success.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

New York City is one of the BEST cities for Small Business

New York Best Business

Yes, that’s right, high-tax, high minimum wage, worker-friendly, widely diverse, New York City, is #2 best city for small business according to Small Business Trends (SBT).  In their article, “Best Cities for Small Business”, SBT explains why New York City is the second best city for small businesses.

“[I]t’s easy to think of New York City as huge and focused on big businesses. But this city is also big for small businesses.  A total of 411,323 small business owners live and work in the metro area, making up 2.03% of the total population.  Leading industries are professional, scientific, and technical services.

Small Business Trends

While it may seem large and intimidating to some in other parts of the country, local entrepreneurs tout the support system for small businesses. 

“You’ve got the NYC Department of Small Business Services all the way to an SBA office, a SCORE office, and a huge menu of entrepreneur and small business organizations” ready to help small businesses succeed.

Small Business Trends

SBT stated that

“the rankings reflect the percentage of small businesses to the overall population in metropolitan areas of the United States with over 50,000 people.  We also identify factors such as industry clusters, lifestyle, infrastructure, costs, workforce availability, and a thriving entrepreneurial community nearby”.

Small Business Trends

Thinking about making changes to your business? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

Why is ProStrategix Proud to be in, and to serve New York City Small Business?

New York City has the largest concentration of small businesses in the country.  In fact, there are nearly 600,000 small businesses in the New York City Metro Area. 400,000 of which are in the 5 boroughs. Despite all the negative hype to the contrary, New York City has a thriving and successful small business community.  So, it begs the question why?

New York City has one of the most educated populations – both by percentage and by sheer number

Importantly, 16.2% of New Yorker’s over the age of 25 have post-graduate degree.  That’s over 2.2 Million people.  As a result, that’s larger than the total populations of some mid-size cities like Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.  In addition, many of these professionals are entrepreneurs, or provide professional, scientific, and technical services. More importantly, they tend to lead most New York City start-ups and small businesses.

New York City has one of the most diverse small business communities

In contrast to most major cities, only 68% of New York City businesses are owned by whites.  The remainder are nearly evenly split between Asians, African-Americans, and Hispanics.   This still doesn’t reflect the racial mix of the city. However, it is much more diverse than most any other city in the country. In fact, this diversity enables New York City small businesses to meld influences from across the globe. Thus, this fusion of cultures often leads to unexpected and creative ideas.

New York City has one of the highest numbers of foreign born citizens

In fact, 29% of New Yorker’s were born outside of the US.  That’s over 5.5 million people.  Importantly, that’s more than the total population of large cities like Boston, Phoenix, and San Francisco. 

Why is that an advantage?  Most importantly, it’s a steady stream of skilled and unskilled labor. Most successful New York City small businesses capitalize on this source talent. 

Some people see immigration in a negative light.  But, to leave your own home and come to a strange and unfamiliar place takes courage and a willingness to take risk.  Both characteristics are highly valued by entrepreneurs. Risk taking is what drives the majority of successful New York City small businesses and start-ups.

Is It Hard to be Successful Small Business in New York City?  You bet.

New York City is a fast-paced, highly-competitive place, with high operating costs due to rent, labor, and taxes.  But, there are smart things all successful New York City small businesses can do:

First, have a rock-solid business model

There’s not a lot of room for error.  Costs are high.  Therefore, you need to make sure the revenue will be there, how it’s generated, and how things are spent.

Second, have strong financial controls & a solid business plan

Again, the margin of error is small.  Thus, not having enough control over your revenues and costs can get you into trouble quickly.

Third, have a solid marketing plan

There’s a lot of noise.  Therefore, you need to make sure you can cut through it.

Finally, get help

There are a number of free, like SCORE, and paid sources, like ProStrategix, that can help you.  With margins of error so tight, there’s not a lot of room for trial and error.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

3 Things to Know Before Starting a Small Business

Our company, ProStrategix, has helped several small businesses start up and ensure they realized their dream.  That’s what we do. So when we read Daniel B. Kline’s article “3 Things to Know Before Starting a Small Business” for the Motley Fool, we were surprised. Kline highlighted three key things he thought business owners should know: 

    1. The days never end 
    2. You need to sell 
    3. It can be lonely 

While these are true to some extent, it paints a more negative picture than is warranted.  It’s extremely important to know what you are getting into before you leap, for instance. However, to dampen the hopes of the two-thirds of Americans who dream of opening a small business is a bit harsh. Therefore, we would like to offer an alternative to Mr. Kline’s list.   

Your business is doing well. But what’s next? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a FREE thirty-minute consulting session. 

Thus, the second thing to know before starting your new business is can you make money.

3. Get Help

While it is true that it will be lonely, at times. It may also feel like the days will never end, etc. But, that’s only if you don’t get the help you need.  Help isn’t cheap, but a penny invested wisely in the beginning, will save, earn, or both dollars in the long-run. Finally, the last thing to know before starting your new business is where to turn for help, and more importantly to be smart about adding to your business’s team.

Never be Discouraged from Following a Dream

The truth is that small business makes up ½ of the US economy and ½ of the total US employment.   It’s important to know what you are doing before starting a new business.  While it’s not a walk in the park, running a small business can be a very rewarding experience. Follow our three things to know before starting your small business will only help.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

Starting a Small Business? The 8 Things you Should Know

starting small business

Allana Akhtar’s article 8 things you should know before starting a small business published by the Business Insider is very good, and worth the read.  I agree with a number of tips she highlights, such as:

    1. Figure out how you’re going to finance the company
    2. Have a good team
    3. Find your niche
    4. Figure out your marketing strategy

Some, I think you may have heard before: don’t quit, just go for it, etc. But what’s left?

Your business is doing well. But what’s next? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

What’s missing from the list of things to know before starting a small business?

There is a big one that she missed. When starting a small business, you need to develop your business plan.  It would be very hard to deliver 1, 3, and 4 without one.  The business plan provides the backup for acquiring capital.   The business plan should clearly spell-out your niche, and a marketing plan devoid of a business plan is like an engine devoid of a car.

Before starting a small business, find an accountant that meets the needs and scale of your business

There is one which I would change, which is “don’t settle for an accountant”.  While I think her points are good, the headline could be read the wrong way.  I agree that having a good accountant before starting a small business is important if you aren’t an expert in the field.  However, there are a lot of pricey accountants that will happily take your money for $200-$400/hr.  I think the key is to find a reasonable accountant, who can give your business the attention it needs.  On this point, we both agree.  Therefore, I would suggest a slightly different headline “Find an accountant that meets the needs and scale of your business”.

Get the Right Help

Starting a small business is hard.  Sometimes it helps to have someone who has been through the process help you.  Having an experienced person or team can help you avoid some of the more rookie mistakes, ultimately saving you time and money. 

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.